San Francisco weighs ban on e-cigarette sales


Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco supervisors are considering whether to move the city toward becoming the first in the United States to ban all sales of electronic cigarettes to crack down on youth vaping.

Supervisors on Tuesday were set to weigh a ban on the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes until the Food and Drug Administration completes a review of the effects of e-cigarettes on public health, as well as ban the manufacturing e-cigarettes on city property.

If supervisors approve the measures, they will require a subsequent vote before becoming law.

“Young people have almost indiscriminate access to a product that shouldn’t even be on the market,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Because the FDA has not acted, he said, “it’s unfortunately falling to states and localities to step into the breach.”

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among young people in the country. Last year, 1 in 5 U.S. high-school students reported vaping in the previous month, according to a government survey .

FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum said in a statement that the agency will continue to “tackle the troubling epidemic of e-cigarette use among kids.”

“This includes preventing youth access to, and appeal of, flavored tobacco products like e-cigarettes and cigars, taking action against manufacturers and retailers who illegally market or sell these products to minors and educating youth about the dangers of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products,” he said.

Leading San Francisco-based e-cigarette company Juul frames vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco. Juul has said it has taken steps to deter children from using its products.

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